Erin's Reviews > The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
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May 09, 12

Read from May 03 to 08, 2012

In the interest of full disclosure, I've been a fan of Adriana Trigiani's books since she, as an alumna of my college, gave my graduation commencement address. Since that point, I have never been disappointed with a single thing she has written. However, I was not prepared to love this latest book as much as I did. It sucked me in from the first chapter and kept me going through the very end. About 100 pages in, I went so far as to tell the author's sister, who I ran into at a local alumnae event, that this was shaping up to be her best book yet - and in my opinion, having finished reading it - it is.

When it comes to books, I'm a HUGE fan of epic stories, told from multiple character's viewpoints, over the course of fascinating time periods. This book checked all of those boxes, adding a feasible love story (based on a true story - no less), the predictable references to Notre Dame and Saint Mary's (which are a mainstay in Trigiani's books, and something that always makes me smile), and descriptions of food that made my mouth water, my stomach grumble, and had me nearly running to open the Trigiani sisters' cookbook to see if said recipes were included - save for the fact that I did not want to put the book down.

I also deeply appreciated the fact that the story was told in the voice of immigrants, highlighting their unique perspectives as they came to this country and worked hard to make their way. Some of my own family took the long voyage across the Atlantic shortly after the characters in this book, also never knowing if they would ever see their family or homelands again. They too worked hard to make a life for themselves here, and provide for their American-born children, in the hopes of providing them with a better life. Having heard their stories, and knowing that, as a college graduate with a professional career, I've helped fulfill the dreams of my great-grandmother (whose immigration papers listed her as domestic help) and my great-grandfather (who worked in the steel mills), gives me a certain sense of pride.

The book takes us through the entire and wholly satisfying story of a love affair, from start to finish. Knowing that the book is a fictionalized account of the real story of the author's grandparents makes it even better.

I highly recommend this book. I also recommend Kleenex for the end - this message goes out in particular to Kristi, because let's face it, if I sobbed at the end, it's going to be a rough (but satisfying) cry for her too. Love you Kristi. :-)
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Kristi Loved, loved this book. Such a timeless, beautiful love. I agree, her best book yet. Loved your review too. I didn't know your family history.

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